Local libraries open with loosened restrictions, additional services

By: Nick Mordowanec | C&G Newspapers | Published February 9, 2021


FRASER/HARRISON TOWNSHIP — A couple of area libraries are using the state’s Feb. 1 mandate to either loosen some restrictions or provide additional services.

At Fraser Public Library, located on 14 Mile Road, patrons were able to go inside to browse the stacks, choose new titles and have access to electronic services. Starting Feb. 1, the library opened at the beginning of each hour and closed 45 minutes later to be thoroughly disinfected. The library reopens at the start of the next hour.

No more than 12 patrons are allowed in the library at one time to follow capacity limits set in place by state and local health departments.

Upon entry, patrons are asked to grab laminated cards at the front of the library to ensure capacity is not exceeded. If at any point the library reaches capacity, doors will be temporarily locked until capacity can accommodate more patrons.

Computers are available without a reservation, but some time constraints apply in accordance with the 45-minute timeframes. Upon exiting the building, patrons are asked to place their laminated cards in a basket at the circulation desk to be disinfected for the next patron.

Masks are still required for entry. Curbside pickup is still available for those who would rather not enter the building. Fraser Public Library hours are 10 a.m. to 7:45 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

The Harrison Township Public Library used its volunteer base to launch a new delivery service that began Feb. 1, in which Harrison Township residents can request to have their library materials delivered right to their doorsteps.

“We’ve had a lot of success and positive feedback with our curbside service,” said Harrison Township Library Director Melissa Goins. “Harrison Township Public Library is committed to removing barriers to library resources. We wanted to take that service a step further and provide a home delivery option.”

The service involves a patron requesting materials and then contacting the library at (586) 329-1261 to select a delivery time. Then, a volunteer delivery driver will bring materials to the doorstep of wherever you live.

Residents in multi-dwelling facilities, like apartment complexes, are encouraged to schedule deliveries when they are home. Volunteers will never enter any home, the library stated.

“Our volunteer base is one of our biggest strengths,” Goins said. “We modeled our delivery service after other non-profit organizations that use volunteers, like Meals on Wheels.”

Currently, the library is not scheduling pickup for returns. However, returns can be given to volunteers who deliver during a scheduled drop-off. Deliveries will be rescheduled in cases of inclement weather.

Last year, the library began curbside service due to safety protocols and social distancing. That service, along with deliveries, are hoped to be maintained in the future once the COVID-19 response becomes less necessary.